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  • Author or Editor: Chen Wang x
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To find efficient ways to increase the percentage of seed germination and seedling emergence in litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.), we investigated the effects of soaking and high temperature on seed germination, as well as the influence of seed placement (orientation and burial depth) on seedling emergence. Seeds of most tested litchi cultivars soaked in water had a better germination performance than seeds without soaking. More than 90% germination of tested litchi seeds was obtained when the soaking times were 26–54 hours. During presprouting, short-term high temperatures (37–44 °C) exerted a negative effect on seed germination rate, but did not influence the germination percentage. In addition, high temperatures (>42 °C) compromised the further growth of sprouted litchi seeds. Burial depth and seed orientation both significantly influenced the seedling recruitment. There was a reduction in seedling emergence with an increase in burial depth. Seeds at the depth of 2 cm showed the best seedling emergence with an average percentage of 90%. Litchi seedling emergence was greatest and most rapid when seeds were sown 2 cm deep, positioned flat, on their sides, and with the radicle oriented downward.

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The application of diffuse light can potentially improve the homogeneity of light distribution and other microclimatic factors such as temperature inside greenhouses. In this study, diffuse light plastic films with different degrees of light diffuseness (20% and 29%) were used as the south roof cover of Chinese solar greenhouses to investigate the spatial distribution of microclimatic factors and their impacts on the growth and yield of tomato. The horizontal and vertical photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) distributions, air temperature distribution, and leaf temperature distribution inside the canopy, tomato leaf net photosynthesis (Pn), and fruit production during the growth period were determined. The results showed that diffuse light plastic film continuously improved the light distribution in the vertical and horizontal spaces of the crop canopy in terms of light interception and uniformity. A more diffuse light fraction also decreased the air and leaf temperatures of the middle canopy and upper canopy during the summer, thereby promoting the photosynthesis of the tomato plants. Pn of the middle and lower canopies with higher haze film were significantly greater than those with lower haze film (19.0% and 27.2%, respectively). The yields of higher stem density and lower stem density planted tomatoes in the 29% haze compartment were increased by 5.5% and 12.9% compared with 20% in the haze group, respectively. Diffuse light plastic films can improve the homogeneity of the canopy light distribution and increase crop production in Chinese solar greenhouses.

Open Access

Chinese bayberry (Morella rubra) is an economically important subtropical evergreen fruit crop native to China and other Asian countries. For facilitating cultivar discrimination and genetic diversity analysis, a total of 38 high-quality and highly polymorphic expressed sequence tags-simple sequence repeat (EST-SSR) markers, with little or no polymerase chain reaction (PCR) stutter bands, including 21 screened from those obtained previously and 17 newly developed markers, were developed. The average number of alleles (N a ) per locus was 5.6, and polymorphism information content varied from 0.34 to 0.86, with a mean value of 0.57. With these markers, all 42 Chinese bayberry accessions analyzed were successfully discriminated and the phylogenetic relationship between accessions was revealed. The accessions can be separated into two groups with six subgroups. The grouping of four main cultivars in three subgroups and 12 white-fruited accessions, each with little or no anthocyanin accumulation in ripe fruit, into five subgroups suggested the preservation of broad diversity among cultivated populations. These EST-SSR markers and the findings obtained in this study can assist the discrimination of cultivars and lines and contribute to genetic and breeding studies in Chinese bayberry.

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The root-knot nematode (RKN) Meloidogyne incognita can cause severe crop loss in economically important Prunus species like peach (P. persica), almond (P. communis), plum (P. salicina), and apricot (P. armeniaca). Some peach rootstock, including Nemaguard (P. persica), Nemared (P. persica), and Myrobalan plum (P. cerasifera), display significant resistance to RKN. We present a genetic linkage map constructed by using simple sequence repeat (SSR) and sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) for a peach backcross population (190 individuals) of RKN-resistant ‘Honggengansutao’ (P. kansuensis) and susceptible ‘Bailey’ (P. persica). Degenerate primers designed from conserved motifs of known plant resistance gene (R) products were used to amplify genomic DNA sequences. Twenty-two resistance gene analog (RGA) sequences were selected from 48 RGAs with open-reading frames to design sequence-tagged site markers. The linkage map of ‘Honggengansutao’ is composed of 138 loci (30 SSRs, 102 SRAPs, five RGAs, and one morphological marker for RKN resistance) assigned to eight linkage groups. The map covers 616 cM of the peach genome with an average marker spacing of 4.9 cM. The five RGAs were mapped to Groups 2, 7, and 8. One gene (designated PkMi) involved in resistance to RKN was mapped to Group 2 (which also includes the known RKN-resistance RMia gene). BLASTN analysis mapped all RGAs to the peach genome sequence. The map constructed in the study will aid future rootstock breeding with marker-assisted selection to identify additional candidate RGA sequences.

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Waterlogging (WL) negatively affects plant growth and development, but the physiological responses of turfgrass species to WL are not well understood. The objective of this study was to examine growth and physiological mechanisms of WL tolerance in warm-season turfgrass species. Knotgrass (Paspalum paspaloides), spiny mudgrass (Pseudoraphis spinescens), seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum), and centipedegrass (Eremochloa ophiuroides) were subjected to 30 days of WL. At the end of the treatment, knotgrass and spiny mudgrass maintained the shoot and root biomass while seashore paspalum and centipedegrass showed reductions in biomass under WL. Root oxidase activity (ROA) was unaffected until after 12 or 18 days of WL but decreased by 14.3%, 17.8%, 32.0%, and 68.7% at 30 days of WL for knotgrass, spiny mudgrass, seashore paspalum, and centipedegrass, respectively. Waterlogging increased root activities of lactate dehydrogenase and alcohol dehydrogenase, but generally to a lesser extent in knotgrass and spiny mudgrass. The leaf and root activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) were induced after 6 or 12 days of WL, but to a greater extent for knotgrass and spiny mudgrass. At 30 days of WL, the increased leaf and root activities of SOD and POD were higher in knotgrass and spiny mudgrass than that of seashore paspalum and centipedegrass; while centipedegrass showed 37.8% reduction in root SOD activity. The total soluble protein (TSP) concentration remained unchanged in both leaves and roots during the entire WL treatment for knotgrass, while a decreased leaf TSP was found in the other three species after 12 or 24 days of WL as well as in the roots of seashore paspalum and centipedegrass. More reductions in leaf or root TSP were observed in seashore paspalum and centipedegrass than in knotgrass and spiny mudgrass at 30 days of WL. The results indicated that higher ROA, activities of antioxidant enzymes and TSP contributed to WL tolerance of warm-season turfgrass species.

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The spicas of Prunella vulgaris are widely used in the medical, beverage, and ornamental fields. Temperature and photoperiod are the two main ecological factors that determine the transformation of many plants from vegetative growth to reproductive growth. To explore the response of P. vulgaris flowering to temperature and photoperiod induction, we adopted vernalization long-day, vernalization short-day, nonvernalization long-day, and nonvernalization short-day treatments. The results showed that the morphology (total number of leaves, number of branches, number of leaves per branch, and branch length) of the vernalization treatment groups was significantly different from that of other nonvernalization groups, and the photosynthetic pigments, net photosynthetic rate, water use efficiency, stomatal conductance, intercellular CO2 concentration, and transpiration rate increased in the vernalization treatment group. However, the gibberellin 3 (GA3), indole-3-acetic acid and zeatin riboside (ZR) contents were significantly increased under the short-day treatments groups, and the results were the same for the expression of endogenous hormone synthesis genes, except for abscisic acid (ABA). The flowering-related genes soc1, elf3, svp, ga20ox, and cry1 were highly expressed under the vernalization short-day. Therefore, the induction of vernalization is more conducive to the increase in the photosynthetic rate. Temperature and photoperiod synergistically induced the synthesis and accumulation of starch, sugar, amino acids, and protein and affected the content of endogenous hormones and the expression of genes involved in their synthesis. GA3 and ZR had thresholds for their regulation of the flowering process in P. vulgaris, and high concentrations of ABA promoted flowering. Temperature and photoperiod coordinate the expression of the flowering-related genes soc1, elf3, svp, ga20ox, and cry1, thereby affecting the flowering process in P. vulgaris.

Open Access

Sulforaphane is an anticarcinogenic isothiocyanate derived from 4-methylsulfinylbutyl glucosinolate (glucoraphanin), which is abundant in broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) florets. However, some breakdown products from alkenyl glucosinolates present in many broccoli cultivars, particularly oxazolidine-2-thione hydrolyzed from 2-(R)-hydroxy-3-butenyl glucosinolate (progoitrin), have potentially harmful effects on human and animal health. The main objective of this study was to improve the glucoraphanin concentration in F1 hybrids by cross-breeding with inbred lines and doubled haploids. Glucoraphanin concentrations in 31 of the 61 F1 hybrids were significantly higher (P = 0.05) than that of the commercial cultivar (Youxiu) with the highest concentration of glucoraphanin (4.18 μmol·g−1 dry weight) among eight reference cultivars. Sixteen of the F1 hybrids had glucoraphanin concentrations 3-fold higher than that of ‘Youxiu’. Alkenyl glucosinolates were not detected in the new hybrids as a result of the parents having few of these compounds but were found in five reference cultivars. Most F1 hybrids showed moderate indole glucosinolate concentrations and acceptable commercial traits. IL609 and IL702.2 were determined to be promising parental lines as a result of the high glucoraphanin concentration that they and their offspring contained. The findings also indicated that some F1 hybrids do not show the high-glucoraphanin character of their parents; consequently, evaluation of these F1 hybrids for their glucosinolate content is required for breeding high-glucoraphanin broccoli.

Free access

Improving the poor resistance to environmental stress and the weak development of roots system in the cherry (Prunus) rootstock ‘Gisela 6’ (Prunus cerasus × Prunus canescens) is of great importance for sustainable sweet cherry (Prunus avium) production. Although a stable genetic transformation system has been developed for ‘Gisela 6’ rootstock, there is little information on the identification of genes involved in stress resistance. Using the cherry rootstock cultivar Gisela 6, we identified a total of 12 novel mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) genes, designated PcMPKs. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the PcMPKs could be divided into four groups, designated A, B, C, and D. In addition, an intron–exon structure analysis for the PcMPKs was conducted to help further understand the structure–function relationships within the cherry family. The expression profiles of PcMPKs in response to abiotic and biotic stresses were characterized using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Five PcMPKs (i.e., PcMPK4-1, PcMPK4-2, PcMPK3, PcMPK6, and PcMPK18) exhibited differential expression, and suggested their potential roles in plant responding to various stresses. This study provides the basis for further analysis on the physiological functions of PcMPKs in environmental tolerance in cherry rootstocks.

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